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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Great Day At The Park…The Manatee Experience!

Birds of a feather...
One of the best places to visit in the Homosassa area is the Florida Wildlife State Park. This park, “twice named ‘Nation’s Best’”. We left our base camp mid-morning and headed just a few miles to this attraction. We got our AARP discount for admission and walked in. The first thing we saw was a crystal clear pool maybe fifty feet across. This was about 35 feet deep. The surrounding area was about 150 feet or so across, but shallower in depth. Hundreds of fish of many species were swimming around this spring. Some were little and some were two to three feet long. Above the water, two Cormorants were floating and occasionally dove below the surface and once in awhile came up with a small fish.
Many, many birds of multiple species  are found all around the park. The interesting thing here is that they can fly away if they wanted. It is granted that most of these birds have been injured and are not capable of long distance flight.
The "Manatee Experience" was a special treat for us. These animals are huge in size. I would compare them to the size of a cow laying on its side. The river is gated off to protect the injured Manatees until they are ready for release. We watched one feeding on vegetation as the Park Ranger gave a talk on these mysterious animals that are distantly related to Elephants.
The park also had a variety of other animals. To name a few; Mountain Lion, Eastern Coyotes, (one size down from a wolf) bears, deer and many others. A 53 year old Hippo is a park favorite.
It was a great mid-day adventure.
Roland, just before supper asked if I wanted to go for a mountain bike ride on the back roads. I said, "sure" and off we went. This  turned into a ten mile run after we took a few wrong turns and headed for the State Wildlife Refuge Area. We might still be pedaling around, if we didn’t spot this guy fishing on a dock. He reminded me of one of the guys in the movie “Deliverance”. 2013-02-24 017 (800x600)
          It doesn't show but we are lost!
He said, "go back the way you came and take a left at the stop sign and so on". The exercise helped my numb leg a lot. I was truly glad that I was able to do this biking as we didn’t bring our bikes on the trip because of Helen’s thumb injury.
That is what we did and saw!   

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